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August 28, 2012
 

PAK-II compliance jeopardized by oil refineries

 

T

he Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources issued a notification advising all the refineries to make the required quality diesel (sulphur content 0.05%) by 1st January 2012. On this basis the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council approved adoption of Euro-II Emission Standards as Pak-II standards for new vehicles applicable from 1st July 2009 to Petrol driven vehicles and from 1st July 2012 to Diesel driven vehicles

Sindh High Court suspended the operation of SRO No.72 (KE) / 2009 to the extent of Diesel engine through its order on 26 June 2012 and issued notice for 12-07-2012 to defendants including Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad, Director General, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Chief Executive, Engineering Development Board, and Director, Environment & Alternative Energy Department, Govt. of Sindh.



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Earlier, the counsel for plaintiffs Hinopak Motors Ltd., Master Motor Corporation Ltd., Ghandhara Nissan Limited and Ghandhara Industries Ltd., submitted that in terms of SRO No.72(KE)/2009 the deadline for manufacturing of the diesel engine vehicles was 01-07-2012 in terms whereof the diesel of Pak-II standard was made inevitable. However, in order to meet such standard the appropriate testing facilities are not provided by Ministry of Climate Change and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency.

It was further submitted that compatible diesel is also not made available by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources. Importantly the Oil Marketing Companies have also issued letters wherein it was categorically submitted that availability of such diesel would not be possible by this deadline. Therefore, the plaintiffs apprehend that in case they continue to manufacture such diesel engine vehicles, their certificates issued by the Engineering Development Board would not be extended.

It may be mentioned here that Pakistan Environmental Protection Council (PEPC) in its meeting held on 29-03-2010 had approved “Pakistan Clean Air Programme” (PCAP) to curb increasing pollution levels in the urban centers. One of the most important programmes under PCAP is to provide clean fuel oil by eliminating lead, reducing sulphur contents and improving other physical and chemical properties to make the fuel Euro compliant.

In this regard, several meetings were held in the Ministry of Environment (defunct) and Pak-EPA in which representatives of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (P&NR), oil refineries and NGOs participated. The outcome of these meetings was the introduction of unleaded gasoline and reduction of sulphur content in diesel from 1 percent to 0.5 percent. It was also agreed to further bring down sulphur in diesel from existing level of 0.5 percent to 0.05 percent by 2012 and introduce Euro-II emission standards. However, this target has not yet been achieved by all the refineries.

Pakistan’s total demand of High Speed Diesel is about 7 million tons of which 46 percent is met through local production while the rest is imported. The gasoline demand is 2.35 million tons of which 52 percent is locally produced. The crude oil or finished oil products imported in the country contain high sulphur content perhaps low sulphur crude or fuel oils are costly in the international market. As far as consumption is concerned, about 90 percent petroleum products are consumed by the two sectors viz. transport (47%) and power (43%), while the industrial sector consumes only 7.2% of the total petroleum products. With this scenario, emission from transport sector becomes significant which adversely affects air quality.

Various studies and data generated through air quality monitoring stations shows that the level of suspended particulate matter in the ambient air is very high and levels of carbon monoxide, hydro-carbons and oxides of nitrogen were on the increase. About 50 to 70 percent cause of pollution in cities is due to low quality fuel and old design of vehicle engines. Air pollution is a common issue of the developing countries and efforts are being made at the regional and local level to improve quality of fuel oil and introduce modern technology in auto industry. Many countries of the region adopted Euro emission standards, which are strict standards, forcing auto industry to make energy efficient and low emission engines. So far Euro I, II, III, IV and V have been developed in Europe which prescribe permissible limits of emission parameters.

Pakistan like many other countries of the region initiated adoption of Euro Standards for new vehicles. The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources issued a notification advising all the refineries to make the required quality diesel (sulphur content 0.05%) by 1st January 2012. On this basis the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council approved adoption of Euro-II Emission Standards as Pak-II standards for new vehicles applicable from 1st July 2009 to Petrol driven vehicles and from 1st July 2012 to Diesel driven vehicles.

-Published on page#-10 in July-2012 issue of MOBILE WORLD Magazine





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